Businesslife Magazine, Issue 75, November/December/January 2021/2

Page 62

Customer experience

Reading between the lines What exactly is sentiment data? And can the insights it gives companies into the way their customers are feeling really help them grow their business?

Words: David Burrows IT MIGHT SOUND like something out of Tomorrow’s World, but sentiment data is a pretty straightforward concept – technology designed to enable businesses, particularly those in the financial services sector, to gauge customers’ mood and intentions. The idea is that they can then use this data to flex the products they offer, the engagement they have with customers and the way they communicate. However, while the concept might be straightforward, applying the data takes careful analysis and clear frameworks. So are the rewards worth all the effort? Adam Riddell, Director of Jersey-based Crystal Public Relations, says using digital technologies to assess customer and wider stakeholder sentiment is still an emerging discipline, but is a key area of evolution as organisations try to understand their audiences better, particularly against the backdrop of an ever-growing sea of data. As for whether the rewards are worth the effort, he believes businesses don’t really have an option. “Sentiment is really important and new tools are opening up new avenues to enable organisations to take great strides in this area. It’s far better to try to know how your key stakeholders are going to react to something than assume or make a best guess,” he says.

62 November 2021 - January 2022

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